Vancouver teaching coach Monica Stonier will make a second attempt at becoming state representative of the 17th District, but she won’t face the same opponent again.
Stonier, a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully in 2010 against Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver. This time, she’s running for the other 17th District representative position being vacated by Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver.
Stonier is seeking election because “I have the background and experience to lead the fight to get kids ready for jobs that compete in the global economy,” she said in a Sunday news release announcing her candidacy. “I believe bringing jobs to Clark County rather than more taxes will get this economy back on track.”
Stonier described herself as fiscally conservative. She is running on a similar platform to Probst, and she said it would be a detriment for the state House of Representatives to lose Probst without gaining another lawmaker who shares his accessibility to constituents and his focus on workforce development.
“Our career and technical training in our schools has got to be better aligned with what the jobs in our community are demanding,” she said by phone Monday.
Stonier, 35, previously worked as a language arts and social studies teacher at Pacific Middle School in the Evergreen school district. Now she works at the school as a full-time instructional coach, focusing on student tests and curriculum design.
Besides job creation, Stonier said her other priorities include helping small businesses become more competitive in the changing economic climate, and providing veterans with more entry points into the job market.
During her 2010 race, she campaigned on the experience she could bring to the Legislature as its only working classroom teacher. She received about 46 percent of the vote in that election, while Harris received 53 percent.
Stonier said on Monday that even though the state spends a large chunk of its budget on education, there aren’t many state lawmakers who see first-hand how education policies affect students.
“My job is to provide training in schools, so I feel like I really see how policy and education actually play out in the classroom,” she said.
Stonier represented Clark County as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention and has been active in the Washington Education Association.
Stonier lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University, and a master’s degree in education from Washington State University Vancouver.
Probst is leaving his representative seat to run for state Senate against incumbent Don Benton, R-Vancouver.